The perceived controversy between Vanderbilt and its last opponent, Arizona, is simply a blip on the radar compared to the potential for bad-blood between Missouri and Vandy.
Back when Shan Foster was a player, Vandy had another stud wing/power forward named DeMarre Carroll from the same recruiting class. As fans of both teams know, DeMarre transferred from Vanderbilt due to some extremely complex circumstances. He ended up at Missouri where his uncle, Mike Anderson, was and still is head coach. Despite what could be perceived as some shady dealings, both teams and head coaches are happy with the course of history. DeMarre sat out for his NCAA-required season and became quite the leader as a 5th-year senior for Coach Anderson as Missouri made it to the Elite 8 last season. Vanderbilt was a missed-traveling-call-away from a Sweet 16 victory over Georgetown and an Elite 8 appearance in the season after Carroll's departure. All's well that ends well.
Here is a link to the TSN Preview of the game:
In what figures to be a close game from start to finish, give an edge to Vanderbilt. The Commodores have the obvious advantage of playing at home, and Ogilvy is due for a big game.
The Anchor of Gold's Patented Statistical Breakdown:
I made a few minor changes from the version I used (hastily I might add) for the Vandy-Arizona preview from last week. The two right-most columns are tempo free stats (thus the "Tempo Free" label above them). PPWS is Points Per Weighted Shot. It's a less-intense version of personal efficiency. The higher the number, the more efficient the scorer. To the right is effective Field Goal percentage.
Also, along the bottom I've completely adjusted the Team statistics I was using. All of these team stats are now tempo free. PPP is points per possession. Off Eff is Offensive Efficiency which is a measure of points scored per 100 possessions. Def Eff is Defensive Efficiency which is a measure of points allowed per 100 defensive possession . Pace is the average number of possessions per game. TO% is Turnover Percentage which is a measure of the number of possessions that result in a turnover. FTRate is Free Throw Rate, which is a measure of how efficient a team is at generating free throw opportunities off their shots.
Kim English is currently coming off the bench for Missouri. It will be interesting to see if Mike Anderson maintains that strategy tonight. This is the reason for the disparity between the benches. Further, Missouri hasn't played nearly the schedule that Vanderbilt has. So it's hard to effectively compare the numbers between teams. As it stands, Missouri has quite a few statistical edges on Vanderbilt. We will see how that plays out tonight. I suspect that the statistics don't quite reflect reality.
One thing I'd like to point out is that thus far, the Tigers are only averaging just over half an extra possession per game over the Commodores.
"I felt like I was really contributing," Ogilvy said. "I'm starting to feel better and get back into game shape. I think I played better in the last game, but I was trying to be aggressive the whole tournament. My role was a little more prominent in the last game. I think that's the only thing it was." Coach Kevin Stallings pointed out that Ogilvy's performance in the Arizona game was part of a strategy to go after Wildcats freshman Derrick Williams, who took 21 foul shots and scored 25 points against Wisconsin two days earlier. Williams attempted just two foul shots and fouled out after 14 minutes against the Commodores' big men. "We just kept going in there and A.J. just kept doing good things with it," Stallings said. "A.J. is in the process of getting back to 100 percent. We need him back to 100 percent if we are going to be who we want to be."
For Vanderbilt (4-1), the latter is particularly true this week. The Commodores face Missouri on Wednesday (8:30 p.m., ESPNU) and DePaul on Saturday (3 p.m.) in games that figure to have little in common other than that they’ll both be played at Memorial Gymnasium. Missouri (4-1) comes to town with a fast-paced, pressing approach. The Tigers average 22.4 forced turnovers and 14.2 steals per game in what they like to call "The Fastest 40 minutes in basketball." "In terms of Missouri’s fast-paced, frenetic style of play …and then DePaul, which is use the clock, slow you down and very, very patient and deliberate, it couldn’t be any more contrasting than the two styles we’ll see this week," Stallings said.
Bowers contends Missouri needs to average four possessions to every one possession of the opposition to keep the Tigers’ running game at an optimum level. That means pressure defense, creating turnovers, and up-tempo offense, finishing off fast breaks with points.
Good luck quadrupling Vandy's possessions tonight.
Some great quotes from coaches who have been rattled by the "arrangement" at Memorial.
A second article makes it seem like the aura of Memorial is definitely in their heads.
Before you dog Missouri too bad for losing to the Spiders, it's noteworthy that prior to playing Mizzou, Richmond knocked-off Mississippi State 63-62. I know they lost to Bill and Mary, but that was game 1 of the year, and clearly the Spiders are a team that might make some noise in the A-10. This is all a long way of saying that Mizzou's loss to seemingly lesser opponent should not lull Commodore fans to sleep on this team.
Interesting. CollegeHoopsNet.com has Vandy as the SEC Tournament winner and an 8 seed in their week three bracketology.
Vandy forward Jeffery Taylor has gone from a great defender to another scoring option.
Check out the picture.
Nice article on one of the three basketball recruits that signed with Vanderbilt last month.
There have been some impressive sleepers at wing forward with rankings of 61 and above: Purdue's Robbie Hummel had a 126.7 rating as the 62nd-ranked freshman in '07-08, Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor had a 106.6 rating as the 97th-rated freshman in '08-09, and West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler had a 107.1 rating as the 99th-ranked freshman in '06-07. All three of those players are All-America candidates this season.
Looking for more of a Missouri perspective? Head on over to Rock M Nation for their analysis.
Post your pregame predictions below. Also, make sure to head over to Stat-King to vote on who you think will be the best-performing Commodore this evening.